The missile monitoring system
The primary layer, additionally known as Tranche 0, of SDA’s plan for a missile monitoring system, features a whole of 28 satellites, of which 20 are communication satellites whereas eight are missile monitoring infrared sensor satellites.
In October 2020, the SDA awarded contracts for the 2 units of satellites. Lockheed Martin and York House received the awards for the communication satellites, whereas the missile monitoring satellites would come from L3 Harris and SpaceX.
The September launch was a part of the bigger plan to show proof-of-concept for this mission, following which new capabilities could possibly be added each two years, Protection Information stated in its report.
Provide points, protests delayed launch
Quickly after the contracts had been awarded, Airbus and Raytheon contested the outcomes over considerations in regards to the analysis course of. The protests are estimated to set again this system by a interval of three months. Nonetheless, they weren’t the one reason behind the delay.
The scarcity of microchips that was felt after the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted world provide chains, additionally had a task to play. Attention-grabbing Engineering has lined how chip shortages affected the automotive business, amongst others, however even high-priority protection applications weren’t spared. Software program improvement additionally took a success throughout this time period.
Nonetheless, SDA Director, Derek Tournear, was unfazed by the magnitude of the issue and, whereas talking on the House Business Summit in Could this 12 months, anticipated Tranche 0 to be launched in September as deliberate. Nonetheless, as August drew to an in depth, the mission was nonetheless removed from prepared for a launch, and the SDA lastly determined to push the launch by a interval of three months.